Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Loose Ends

I'm making good progress on the Peach Vine. I've almost finished the body. There's just the Shower Stitch flounce at the high hip left to do. Here's the last picture of it, taken after I did the bust darts and neck trim.

Whenever I'm knitting, I think about technique and ways to vary or improve the way I knit. One of my meditations on the Peach Vine has been the treatment of loose ends.

When I first started knitting, I dutifully wove in all my loose ends with a yarn needle. For some projects, this meant tedious hours spent weaving in ends. I wove them through the purl bumps or along knit ridges, not knowing about excruciatingly correct duplicate stitch that some folks recommend.

When I learned that I could weave my ends in as I went, I was thrilled. For thinner yarns, I just work two strands together for 6-8 stitches. With anything above sport weight, however, I weave the new strand around the old while I work 6 stitches with the old and then weave the old around the new while I work 6 stitches with the new.

One of the problems with working in washable cotton yarns is the tendency for tag ends to work their way to the right side of the fabric (this never happens with wool). I pull them back to the wrong side with a crochet hook, but it's tiresome.

As I was weaving in a new section of yarn, I thought, "Maybe I should wait to trim the tag ends until after I wash the sweater. Maybe they'd behave better if they'd already had the chance to stretch and shrink before I snipped them."

While I'm at it, I might as well make sure to trim them long enough.

Meanwhile, the two sides of the front of the Peach Vine grew together.

Growing a sweater from the top down is magic. I really like the section where the yoke and sleeves have their basic form but are still one big circle.

It's a little anticlimactic once the sleeves have been separated from the body. The body seems to go very quickly in comparison to the yoke. Aside from short rows and waist shaping, there's little to slow me down.

For the bust short rows on the Peach Vine (I keep typing Peace Vine; maybe I ought to change the name of the sweater?), I decided to do half of them with decreasing short rows and then use increasing short rows for the other half. This makes a nice shape for the bosom, but it makes a sharper short row line than other types of double darts.

I like double darts for the busty; they give room to hide the short row turn-arounds in purl bumps or pattern stitches or the fuzziness of the yarn. This yarn is smooth and light-colored, and shows everything. There's no hiding.

This yarn shrinks in the wash, so the short row turn-arounds should smooth out some.

Just the body trim now and the sleeves. I'm hoping to finish this so I can wear it on Sunday.

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